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Probably The World's Fastest Internet Café

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Cisco: Goonhilly computers will be able to download data between 25 and 50 times faster than typical broadband connection. Source:Cisco.com

One of England's most remote mainland locations will soon be the home for what is probably the world's fastest internet café.

BT's Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall, will launch the high-speed attraction at its popular visitors' centre tomorrow.

The café's computers, connected to BT's highly sophisticated global IP (internet protocol) network, will be able to download data at speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbit/s). This is between 25 and 50 times faster than a typical broadband installation at home.

To power the internet cafe, BT has chosen equipment from some of the world's best known technology companies, including 12 iMacs with the latest Intel Core Duo processors and an Xserve server by Apple. Routing, switching and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology has been provided by Cisco and headsets by Sennheiser.

Visitors to the satellite earth station, which attracts more than 80,000 people a year, will be able to use the superfast facilities of the internet café free of charge.

Adrian Hosford, director of Corporate Responsibility for BT, who will host the launch, said: "Connected to the network of the future, what we believe is the world's fastest internet cafe will allow people to experience for themselves online speeds, which are part of a future enabling us to do all things differently.

"For example, it would be possible to use the cafe's computers to download in less than 15 minutes a file the equivalent size of the DVD version of the Encyclopaedia Britannica - with its 19,000 illustrations, 629 audio and video clips and 100,000 articles. A standard broadband connection would typically take in excess of five hours.

"Such technology will also mean that people can choose to travel less, helping the planet to deal with climate change and creating a more sustainable future. We are pleased to work with world class companies, such as Apple, Cisco and Sennheiser to deliver this wonderful 'must see' attraction for the visitors centre at Goonhilly."

Neil Crockett, managing director, BT Operations for Cisco Systems, said: "This cafe provides a fantastic opportunity for everyone to experience the benefits of very high-speed broadband firsthand in a unique setting.

"Through showcasing advanced technologies at the Goonhilly internet café, visitors can also experience how traditional services such as telephony can now be converged onto a single internet protocol network."

The new internet café will be officially declared open by Helston Community College pupils Chloe Smith and James Evans, both aged 17, who have demonstrated outstanding acumen in the field of information technology.

Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station - located in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), containing some of the rarest plants in the UK - is the largest station of its type in the world with 60 antennas handling thousands of international phone calls, TV broadcasts and data.

It is also the world's oldest surviving satellite earth station. The first antenna, known as Arthur, was built to track the Telstar satellite and received the first live transatlantic television broadcasts from the United States in 1962. Arthur today is a grade II listed building and is still in operational service.

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